Tour de Yorkshire attracting visitors to our great county

Karen and Paul Beck, from Kent, have discovered the beauty of Yorkshire through the tour.Karen and Paul Beck, from Kent, have discovered the beauty of Yorkshire through the tour.
Karen and Paul Beck, from Kent, have discovered the beauty of Yorkshire through the tour.
Spectators from across the country watched the elite of the cycling world as they rode past Nostell Priory during day two of the Tour de Yorkshire

Visitors in anoraks clasped cups of tea while sheltering from the rain in run-up to the riders’ arrival.

When the peloton finally arrived it was gone in a flash but worth the wait to the cheering schoolchildren, dog walkers and cycling enthusiasts lined up at gates of the National Trust site.

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Spectator Tom Walsh, from Upton, said: "I'm not always a big cycling fan but it's wonderful when something like this comes through.

Riders head towards Pontefract and Castleford.Riders head towards Pontefract and Castleford.
Riders head towards Pontefract and Castleford.

"My bike's been in the shed for years but ever since the Tour de France I've been saying I'll get it out.

"It's done a huge amount for tourism in Yorkshire and shown we're not all just slag heaps and coal mines."

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John and Sheila Irlam are visiting Yorkshire from Cheshire and seeing the tour in person for the first time.

Children from St Josephs school, Castleford cheer the peloton.Children from St Josephs school, Castleford cheer the peloton.
Children from St Josephs school, Castleford cheer the peloton.

John said: "I think it's great for Yorkshire and I wish we had something like this in Cheshire.

"I like to watch the big events and this one really brings people together.

"Yorkshire is such a lovely place. Sometimes people just think of the big towns and cities but there's so much more to it."

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Karen and Paul Beck were heading to the Lake District from Kent when they decided to stop off for a look at Yorkshire's biggest cycling race.

Paul said: "My son lives in Paris with his girlfriend and he called to tell us they were covering this race live.

"We haven't spent much time in Yorkshire but it's beautiful and we like it very much. And I must say, Nostell was superb - one of the best National Trust sites we've been to.

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"I do own a bike but I don't get out on it very often," he added.

Events like the Tour de Yorkshire coming to Wakefield show the city is taken seriously as a cultural destination, according to a Nostell Priory representative.

This year's race was the first time the route has gone directly past the National Trust site on its route.

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Helen Taylor, senior visitor experience officer for the outdoors at Nostell, said: "Events like this put us on the map. I think, nationally, seeing the crowd and how enthusiastic everyone is does wonders for showcasing how amazing Wakefield is and what we have to offer.

"We are becoming a real cultural hub of West Yorkshire and I think things like the tour choosing to come through really help and really shows that what we are trying to achieve is working.

"We had about 50 spectators for the women's race in the morning, which was good to say it was raining.

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"And it's a good way of shouting about all the cycling we've got going on here on the estate, trails, family cycling events - we've tried to use this as a hook so if people see the race on TV and are inspired they come cycle here.

"We have 300 acres of parkland here. We have a gorgeous mansion full of the most amazing collection of art and architecture. And we have gardens with a play area and woodland walks. We hear so many people say this is our doorstep and we never come. There's this mindset that you don't do the thing that next door if you're going away for a day but there is so much on offer here."